February 25, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

I've never seen the other Die Hard movies, which is a good thing because the reviews for this one haven't been very favorable. It's a good thing because I have nothing to compare it too, which made me enjoy it fa more than a lot of people, apparently. I actually didn't get the hate. It was entertaining, had constant action, had a decent story to follow. I guess true Die Hard fans could react the way they did since they've been the ones loyally following the franchise. As a newcomer, I thought what I saw was pretty good.

When I said there was constant action, I really meant it. Guns were being fired, people were being chased, cars were being destroyed in many ways all the time. Before one can even recover from the previous gun show, there's another one being presented to you. Time flew really fast because of this. One minute they're crushing every car on the streets of Russia, the next moment they're involved in a gun fight; and just within a few minutes, they're running for their life to a dumpster. There was a constant movement, and the shift added the sense of danger and excitement.

I also liked the twists presented in the movie. I'm not only talking about the twists in the plot, but the twists on the characterization as well. The characters were very round and the transforming of these personas was amazing. I especially liked how the villain became the villain. It was a perfect execution and a bit unexpected. I was actually impressed by how dark it was, and I liked the fact that I was surprised by it.

Jai Courtney was incredible in this film. He was a great choice to play Willis' son. He had everything going right for him. He had the charisma, the power, and the skills t kick some ass in that movie. He was believable. I'd have to say though that Willis is still the star of the film. I really like his character here. Funny, witty, but still strong. He still got the movies even after all those years. He's still as sharp as ever, and he still has what it takes to define action. He was magnificent! The pair of them brought humor and deadliness together, and mashed it up perfectly.They had balance with just the right amount of pushing and pulling.

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February 19, 2013


Ghajini is an odd movie for me; and I say that in the best way possible with the utmost respect and admiration for the artistry of this movie. The reason I called it odd as because of how it integrated almost every single genre known to man in one single movie. It's practically a psycho-thriller crime drama; however, also part of its subplot was a romantic comedy love story. It was a different experience for sure. During the subplot, I almost lost track of what I was watching. It felt like I was watching another film, far from the psycho-thriller revenge seeking film I was supposed to be seeing. That tells me two things. One: the movie is a perfect example of a genius film. Two: the director and cast were so diverse and versatile to produce such a challenging film.

The plot revolved around a man who suffered from a short term memory loss. He would lose all his memory after 15 minutes, and lived by taking photos and name-tagging everything he owned and did. He, however, had not forgotten the tragedy that struck two years prior: the violent murder of his girlfriend. He then only had one goal in life: avenge the death of his lover. I don't think this will be considered a spoiler since the movie made it pretty clear with in the first few minutes of the movie. I guess they just said it so the audience can focus on the story-telling, which I will tell you, was beautiful. It was graphic and detailed how the main character was going to get to his target. he doesn't remember a lot so he's made an intricate plan to find the killer and make him suffer.

This also led to the police having a sudden interest in him especially since an investigation was pointing to him. Few minutes later, the audience is introduced to the girlfriend Sanja Singhani (the main character played by Aamir Khan) lost. It started with how they met, the circumstances that led to their meeting, growing close and eventually falling in love. This was the lightest part of the film. It was truly comical since it was really unconventional. Their love story screams hilarity right from the start. It was really helpful that Asin was so damn compelling in her role as Kalpana. She was lovely and had the perfect timing for her lines, and boy were her lines good. This was the romantic comedy part of the film. It was so well-done it takes you full-on. As I said, I almost forgot I was watching a movie about a man out to kill the people who wronged him. These scenes had a totally different vibe with it.

Then it shifted to the present where a medical student found herself involved in the chaotic life of Singhania. She definitely was interested, but there was more to his life than a medical case. She was in for a surprise when she realized her life was actually in danger. In the midst of running and telling, it shifted back to the past to complete the story of Singhania and Kalpana. It showed what happened that changed Singania's life forever. Gone was the big shot business man. Gone was the smiling, generous man. Gone was all the fame and fortune as he lived in isolation. The turn of events was so drastic yet so endearing. It had the magic of a great flick and it was touching and moving as well as heartbreaking. It's the artistry and craftsmanship of the movie that made me really like it.

The movie had a very powerful feel to it. The story was complex, but the way they did it made total sense. It was organized in a way that the narrative would be understood and felt by the viewing public, but it also boasted its artistry. This movie is a real work of art and the director, was a brilliant artist. He was able to depict all these intertwining stories so wonderfully that it was effective. Effective and powerful. Those are the two words I'd use to describe the film. Emotional and grandiose would be other choices. It was a really grand film. I don't think they held back with anything. All of it was visually pleasing and appealing. It was a great viewing experience.

The writing and the directing was a perfect marriage. Sure they had a strong material at their hands; but the most impressive thing was what they chose to do with it. They definitely not wasted it. I was really impressed by how the story was flowing, how they were shaping the characters, and how the events are turning up. It was constantly changing which made the movie alive. I just was blown away by this movie. It was a really great film to see. I had a lot of fun watching 3 Idiots and I'm glad this gave me another form of fun in terms of  a Bollywood experience. It was a fascinating film for sure.

Aamir Khan as the star of the movie was perfect. He had everything going for him. He was versatile and transformed himself in every scene. He was funny when he needed to be, and tough when the scene called for it. I guess there's a reason why two of the highest grossing Bollywood film had him as the star; he delivers, and he delivers well. He's one genuinely talented actors and probably one of the best in worldwide cinema. He has this effect of making people laugh, sympathize, or angry. He portrays a wide range of emotions and he's always right on cue when showing them. He's a truly remarkable actor and a gift the cinema.

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February 16, 2013

Pitch Perfect

The film was a simple movie. No twists, exploding cars or out of this world creatures. No CGIs or insane graphics. It was just about a group of people who sing acapella music. "All with [their] mouths," as the mpvie said. The idea of it isn't as exciting as Transformers or Avengers, but somehow I still liked it. It was actually recommended by my brother who told me it was good. I'd have to agree with him on that one. I like music as well so that was a huge added bonus.

Anna Kendrick was not only beautiful in this movie, she definitely showcased her vocal range. Everyone did, but Kendrick was the biggest surprise for me. I've seen Kendrick in films like 50/50 which was also a good film. But with this, I was even more impressed by her. She's definitely a star on the rise, and I think she'll go really far. She's beautiful and very talented. She has everything going for her and I can't wait to see her next move/movie. Another surprise was Brittany Snow. I guess Hairspray really helped her. Her presence in the movie was so charming and warm, I just was drawn to her. But the biggest treat in the whole movie was Rebel Wilson. Her crystal meth line was right on the money, and people will for sure remember that scene for a long time. She was a very vital ingredient in this movie, and she was an absolute delight.

The guys of the movie didn't fall behind. Skylar Astin, Ben Platt and Adam DeVine were getting really into it. The three characters were so different but perfectly complemented each other.  It was a good guy bad guy kind of thing, and it added entertainment quality to the movie. One of my favorite performances was Magic, led by Platt. I already liked the song before but it was cool the way they did it. The choreography was also fun. It's one of those I'd gladly watch over and over again. Freddie Stroma, who played the campus DJ, and John Benjamin Hickey, who played Beca's father weren't singin in the movie; yet, somehow they still managed to stand out as well. They didn't have a lot of scenes but they both seized every moment of their time.

The choice of music in this movie was smart. It ranged from oldies to current songs. I thought that had widened its audience. For sure it will mostly be young kids, but at least if adults came to see the movie, they'd still enjoy it. Maybe enjoy the twists and mas-ups made to the songs. As mentioned, I liked Magic, but I also liked Kendrick's version of Titanium, and her mash-up of the Bella's signature song with the pop song Bulletproof. I thought that was sick. It meshed up really well and it was very well-done. So whoever thought of that, kudos to you. The song selections were all pretty good. I wasn't aware of some of them so I guess it was good that they didn't go full mainstream, or at least not my mainstream.

It's a fun movie. Nothing too dramatic, lots of funny moments, much thanks to Wilson and Hana Mae Lee, the silent star of the show. Those two definitely brought their funny bones to the movie. Also, allow me to say that I was very shocked to see Ester Dean in this movie, especially in a role like that. Never imagined i'd be seeing her sing a Kelly Clarkson song. How's that for something new? But really, the movie was an uplifting fun movie. It provided quality entertainment and a fun loving singing atmosphere. The stars shone, and I think they all will continue to do so.

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February 11, 2013


I remember the first time I saw Looper I thought, "Wow. This movie is a lot darker than I expected." There was a certain grim about the movie's presence that was a little disturbing. How does a man kill his future self?  What will be the repercussions of doing so? What will be the consequences of not doing it? What happens next in either scenario? These were the main question that drove the story of Looper, a story about a hired killer who executes people from the future with the invention of time travel. In this case, the powerful tool was used by top crime syndicates to eliminate their enemies. In some instances, Loopers had to kill their future self.

The concept of it was great and the story line created around the concept was even better. At first it seemed like the movie Jumper, the 2008 movie of Hayden Christensen. It had almost the same premise of time/space travelling with people pursuing them. The basic structure of Looper was a little too similar to Jumper but the plot and core elements were different. There was the idea of self-conflict in Looper, a personal dilemma of choosing one's fate, which will inevitably affect the people of the future. The concept of it was intriguing at the very least. It's a constant battle of what the Looper must do next. There's an anticipation of what would happen next. It kept the movie alive and running even during it's down moments. Something was always just waiting to happen.

I have to say though that the idea became a bigger piece of the movie than the actual execution itself. The concept and story was the driving force of the movie for me; the reason I kept watching. While the cinematography and directing were also good, I was just dazzled by the idea behind the whole thing. It wasn't disappointing though. In fact, it was very impressive. The idea was consuming, yes. But the execution of the idea was not a let down. Rian Johnson, the writer and director,  truly grabbed the opportunity to create something exciting and provoking. It made several references to moral dilemmas of doing or not doing certain things. There's been talk about the silver in play and how it references the Biblical character Judas. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case, as depicted in scenes early on in the movie.

Emily Blunt shone in this movie. She was captivating and relatable. Very human in that subject. Her character, though portrayed as a heroine, had her own faults, and Blunt made sure to showcase those as well. Vulnerable yet tough. That's how I'd describe her performance. The two main guys also delivered. It was thrilling to see both Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt battle it out in a survival of the fittest kind of game. Johnson directed these stars perfectly. I guess it's good that the writer also turned out to be its director  to enable him to pursue how he has visualized this movie. He had authority and control, and like a good leader, Johnson brought this film to a success.

**Side note: It was surprising and amazing to see Garret Dillahunt and Piper Perabo in the movie. Just thought I'd include it.

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February 10, 2013

3 Idiots

3 Idiots just became one of my favorite movies of all time. It was one of the lightest yet deepest movies I've had the pleasure of witnessing. 

3 Idiots was released back in 2009 and starred Aamir Khan, Kareena Kappor, R. Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi. The supporting cast included Boman Irani, Omi Vaidya, Mona Singh, and Rahul Kumar. It was a comedy-drama-musical Bollywood film that showcased different aspects of Indian life. The educational system, their culture, food, lifestyle, and even surroundings. 3 Idiots raked in numerous awards and recognition, became a box-office hit both in their domestic market as well as in the international market, and had a strong following. All these for good reasons. It's a freaking fantastic film. It's a gift to cinema in my honest, humble opinion. 

The movie never got boring for a second. I've always believed that at the core of every movie is the opportunity to entertain. That's exactly what the movie achieved: entertainment! There was something happening constantly. They kept in mind that the audience and witnesses of their work would need something to keep their attention. It was like a well-choreographed waltz with the rise and fall in its story line. It smoothly transitioned from being a comical musical to a heartfelt drama and back to the hilarity of the three idiots. Just when you thought everything was going good, laughing at the insanity being presented in front of you, you suddenly realize the shock and pain of the next scene. It never hits you, until it does because every transition was clean. It never felt forced or out of place. Every single scene was interconnected with each other; and that made the movie a crazy, yet inspiring narrative. 

It was all about learning, which was why a school for engineering folks was the perfect setting for this adventure. At the beginning of the movie, I thought this was going to be like The Hangover and a search for a lost buddy would suddenly commence. But it turned out to be a very intellectual movie. It employed science and philosophy to form amusing antics clever dialogues. It even applied physics to formulate an incredibly funny scene early on. But it wasn't just about the pranks. It also used simple thinking to navigate the movie into a more serious tone to talk about the value of education, the pressure revolving around it, the support professors should be willing to extend for their students, the drastic ways people cope with stress and frustration. It was rich both in laughs and lessons. While the movie had its characters mostly play around, it also made sure to define these characters as human beings, capable of being there for the people they care about. It showcased their humanity. 

It's undeniable how this film could immediately bring smiles. It had every single working tool at its disposal to create the most demented, yet excruciatingly hilarious movie. It had three very talented actors for the lead roles. Had a very strong script, and a director with the perfect knowledge and wisdom to transform he script into a full-on feature. All that judgment based on the output the whole team produced. After all, the film wouldn't have been a major success if the crew didn't put in the time and effort to perfect it. 

One more thing I really liked was the bond that the film showcased among the three idiots. It was warm and friendly. It was never hostile and always light. It's inspiring to see the friendship they had and how much they longed to be around each other again. I also liked how the story led the three together and the stories each of them had. They had different journeys but they decided to go along with each other and discover what life had in store for them together. The ending scene was probably one of the most joyous dramatic moments of the movie. Something I'm sure everyone would enjoy and laugh about, but also remember as one of the most heartwarming scenes. 

Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi were all perfect actors in the movie. I couldn't see any fault in those three as they took on very challenging roles. It's not that easy, I assume, to play such diversified characters. But all three were magnificent in it. I really enjoyed each of their performances. Kareena Kapoor not only looked beautiful in the movie but also gave a moving performance. The entire cast was a delight to watch and each of them had a hand in making the movie as remarkable as it was. Everyone lifted their own weight and more to attain a beautiful, entertaining masterpiece. 

I beg you to do yourselves a favor and look for this movie. It has been several years from its release, but it is still finding its way to make more people happy. I only learned about this movie a few weeks ago, and I couldn't be more thankful that I got to watch it. I liked the movie so much, I watched it over again right after my first time seeing it. It was that good for me. Hopefully, you'll also feel the same. 

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February 03, 2013

Chinese Zodiac

**Let me take this opportunity to apologize because I have accidentally deleted a good number of comments. I was just trying to delete span comments, but it looks like I accidentally deleted some of the legit comments as well. That was stupid of me, so if you ever wrote a comment on this blog, please feel free to re-comment. Or just let me know. Looks like I deleted some of my replies as well.

I'm not sure if the rumors are true, but some of my friends say Chinese Zodiac will be Jackie Chan's last action movie. I've actually read an article that said that Jackie Chan will stop making such movies, but I'm not entirely sure if Chinese Zodiac will be the last. Jackie Chan has made a lot of entertaining martial arts-comedy films, it would be a huge loss for him to stop doing so. But since he does most of his stunts, I guess he just knows there's a limit to his physicality and wants to make sure people will remember all his work as movies that never disappoint.

I was told before watching the movie that it wasn't a very good one. That it was a little disappointing and a bit rough. I went in anyway because if this is the last time I see Jackie Chan fight, I want to witness it on the big screen. I didn't find it bad. In fact I was thoroughly entertained by it. I was hugely surprised by how funny it was, and it was very evident that people in the cinema were all enjoying and having a great time. It played on Jackie Chan's ability to be humorous, it added shock and excitement along with it as well. The fight scenes were very well choreographed, and it was a bit dangerous. It had that flare and it was exhilarating. A very fun movie.

It's true that the story got a little blurry. Things suddenly didn't make sense. It started raising questions it never answered. The story line went all over the place. I guess that's the biggest flaw of the movie. I didn't understand a couple of scenes, and hoped that it would be explained later on but it never came full circle. Some things were left unanswered. But other than that it maintained its entertainment quality. I guess the whole movie showcased Jackie Chan's greatest strength: fast-paced action scenes and ridiculous funny persona. These two qualities definitely were defining elements of the movie and practically helped the film boost its value.

It had incredible stunts and technology. Starting off with the skater body suit. I want that one for myself. It seemed fun and looks like Jackie Chan enjoyed it as well. They also had these awesome gadgets which I know can't be real, but it's nice to see the creativity. It employed a lot of things to offer different scenarios, different props to make it a diversified movie. In terms of stunts, I felt like Jackie Chan did some things he has never done before. Each sequence felt and looked different from the other and it was a pleasure to watch every one of them.

While the film had its faults, I guess true fans of Jackie Chan would not be disappointed. Everyone should admire what he did in the film at his age. A true artist I would say. Also, I think we have to be impressed how much Chan invested in the movie, taking on practically every major role in movie making: director, producer, writer, and actor. That's complete faith in one's ability and I hope he feels proud. After all it did make a lot of money.

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February 02, 2013


I just realized I never put this one up. I had it written before and I thought I had placed it on the blog until I realized I didn't. So, here it is.

Lincoln has the most number of nominations in the Oscars; and nominated for even more in other award giving bodies. It's a crowd favorite, and people are already expecting the film to take home a number of awards, not only in the Osacrs but at the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, and other institutions that cater to awarding and rewarding quality films.And I'll tell you it is a quality film indeed. It's a very special movie that deserves all the attention it's getting.

I guess the subject itself had everything to do with the success of this movie. It's about the presidency of one of the most known American presidents, the passing of an amendment in the United Constitutions that changed millions of lives, a civil war, and the aftermath of the said events. The subject matter of the movie was so thick that it offered a variety in 2 and a half hours. It had history, drama, war, politics, and a whole lot more. These subject for sure played a role and served as a driving force for people to take notice on the film. It's a huge commentary and portrayal of real people and how and where they stood on a political and social movement. It's something that would spark interest among the public, especially people from America. It may also interest people from other countries for either its topic or its entertainment value. There were a lot of reasons why this movie could be a success, and a success it had become.

It was not however sufficient to have a controversial movie. It had to be done the right way as well. The people behind this movie had to execute every little detail for the movie to work, to satisfy the viewing public. With the attention already on their side, they had to make sure that the movie they would show will be as exquisite as it possibly could be. It had to be brilliant and captivating. I personally felt that the movie did all that and even more. The clarity of the story line was superb. It had a clear chronological order in way that laid out the facts, the people involved and the direction it was going to take. It was clean. That's how I saw it. A clean story with a presence.

The direction of Speilberg on this movie was magnificent. Totally in control, and it just showed how great he is at his craft. The scenes the movie produced were all strong and effective. The drama behind every scene was just full of different emotions. The way he captured the expressions of the actors in the movie was very impressive. He managed to create a powerful film keeping in mind the strength of the message the movie had.  I don't know, I was just impressed by the strength of this movie. It was amazing. It was at a level of my being blown away by Schindler's List.

People say Daniel Day Lewis is a lock for Best Actor, and a huge part of me wishes it's true. He was absolutely amazing and his portrayal of the president was heart-warming, to say the least. He was on cue in everything, showed a wide range of persona and emotions, captured the true essence of what the movie was about. He's truly a fantastic actor. I had chills during one scene where he was arguing with Sally Field. That scene was perfect as it had the right amount of push and pull, the dialogues complemented what was happening and the camera captured the heartbreak and frustration of both individuals. That's also the scene that made me realize I want him (and her) to win at the Oscars. As much as Bradley Cooper surprised me in Silver Linings Playbook, I really want to see Daniel Day Lewis win big.

The entire ensemble was a huge huge part of what made this movie. Tommy Lee Jones and his character as a whole was someone I really rooted for. All those senators who played part in the Democrat-Republican battle for the amendment added flavor and spark to this already incredible movie. All these people were part of the reason why I liked this movie.

I'm not sure if the movie will win big come Oscars night. I'm still wishing Argo has a shot, but I'll be pleased whatever the results are. From the looks of it, all nominees are great. I've seen most and I'd say the Academy has a strong pool of contenders. It really shouldn't matter which movie would take home the big awards (but of course everyone will still be awaiting the results).

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